By Michael Kinney
OKLAHOMA CITY– “I’m a country boy.”
That was how newest Oklahoma City Thunder Patrick Patterson helped explain how he felt about coming to Oklahoma City during an introductory press conference held on the sixth floor of the Aloft Hotel Tuesday.
Patterson was asked what it will be like living in a small city like Oklahoma City after playing for bigger metropolitans such as Houston and Toronto.
Sitting next to Raymond Felton, who also signed Monday night with the Thunder, Patterson explained why the former Toronto Raptor is not worried about the change.
“Well, I’m a country boy, I’m from the south, so this is basically home to me out here,” Patterson said. “So the pros are definitely me being comfortable out here. Although it’s not a big city like you said like Toronto or Houston, there are still great fine points out here. There is still great opportunity, and there is still terrific people. So that’s the only thing that really matters to me is being in an environment that I see people as my family. I see people as my friends and I just have fun, and that’s basically what I see out here in Oklahoma.”
After a whirlwind offseason in which the Thunder added three veteran players and drafted a rookie, the Oklahoma City brass was ready to unveil its new team.
During their first meeting with the Oklahoma media, both Patterson and Felton came across as players who are happy to be part of the Oklahoma City organization. While Patterson talked about the environment, Felton delved into why the Thunder is a good fit for him at this point in his career after leaving the L.A. Clippers
“Being a 12-year guy, you just want to put yourself in a situation where you’re going to win. Put yourself in a situation where you’ve got a chance to try to play for something special, and that’s the to win a ring,” Felton said. “That’s always been a goal of mine, always been a dream of mine. So this organization has been one of the top for the last, you know, ten years since I can remember. Got a great team. I like some of the things that they were doing this summer, some of the pieces that they were signing, some of the guys that they traded for. So to come here, just, I think we have a great chance to do something special.”
Last season with the Raptors, Patterson averaged almost 7 points and 5 rebounds a game. But the 2010 first round pick out of Kentucky says his game is much more than that.
“Just pretty much spacing the floor. Being a guy who can move the ball, distribute, pass, make the extra play, then when I have the opportunity to shoot, take advantage of that,” Patterson said. “Russ (Westbrook) demands so much attention, same thing with PG (Paul George). Two great guys on the offensive side of the ball. So just trying to do whatever I can to ease the pressure off them. Moving the ball when they do get trapped, just trying to distribute and find someone.
“Also on the defensive side, this is such a great defensive team, and it’s only going to get better,” Patterson continued. “So just using my ability, my awareness, and my IQ to help out in those areas too.”
Patterson and Felton were just two of the big three additions the Thunder made this offseason. George, who was picked up in a trade with Indiana, flew into Oklahoma City Tuesday night to hundreds of fans waiting for him at the airport. The press conference to introduce him wasn’t until Wednesday night.
However, both Patterson and Felton are excited to get on the floor with George.
“From what I’ve seen, he’s one of the hardest workers in the league,” Patterson said. “And one thing that I admire the most about him is his vocal leadership. I know and we all see what he can do on the court as far as his game goes.”
For Felton, getting to chance to play alongside Westbrook instead of facing him is what he is a positive.
“That’s one battle that you don’t look forward to coming in here, playing against him,” Felton said. “The he’s one tough guy. One tough competitor. He brings it every night. He’s going to give it his all. So I look forward to playing with a guy like that because I play the same way. So it feels a big relief to be on the right side of that.”
Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Writer with Eyeamtruth.com